NEWS

Critics Got It Wrong: PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his critics have misinterpreted his recent development statement for their cheap politics. “Let me make this perfectly clear: I did not say we are going
08 Nov 2014 17:55
Critics Got It Wrong: PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his critics have misinterpreted his recent development statement for their cheap politics.

“Let me make this perfectly clear: I did not say we are going to provide development only to those who support FijiFirst. To claim otherwise is simply untrue,” he said while speaking at the opening of the Nakasi

High School Telecentre yesterday. Mr Bainimarama criticised critics who had distorted his off-the-cuff comments on a recent tour of Vanua Levu.

“I said I was worried that a high number of villages in Vanua Levu didn’t want development because they didn’t choose FijiFirst, they chose SODELPA.

“I said this because SODELPA, its leadership, its candidates and its supporters, weren’t development focused.”

He said the entire election platform of SODELPA was based on lies, fear mongering and racism.

“I stressed that we were an inclusive government. So, we were going to prioritise developments to those who needed them,” he said.

Our aim, he said, was to develop the entire country, which included the North. “Government wants to give people living there the same level of services enjoyed by those living in Viti Levu. So, we are providing the infrastructure that’s needed to make that happen – better roads, access to electricity and water, better schools, better health clinics.”

The overwhelming majority of people in the North, he said, supported Government’s programme – ending      their isolation, giving them opportunities.

“But in my off-the-cuff remarks, I said I was worried that a high number of villages in Vanua Levu didn’t want development because they didn’t choose FijiFirst, they chose SODELPA. “

He reiterated that he governed for all Fijians and he would leave no one behind. “And I have been consistent about this right from the time I assumed office in 2006. Right through the People’s Charter. Right through the years in which we made the reforms that were necessary to set Fiji up for a better future. Right through the lead-up to the first genuinely democratic election in our history. Right through the election campaign. And right through my party’s landslide victory.”

He said he had said it in his election victory speech as well as at the United Nations, in his maiden speech in the Parliament. “So take heed of what I said then and take heed of what I say now.”

He said he governed for all Fijians, no matter who they supported and who they voted for. He said no one would be left behind, whether they voted for FijiFirst, SODELPA, NFP, Labour, the PDP or anyone else.

“We are all Fijians and as I have also said repeatedly: I am the Prime Minister of all Fijians, for all Fijians. I don’t care who you are or what your background is. If you want to work hard to build our nation and give our children a better future, I am with you. All the way.”

He admitted still trying to get used to being a politician and having his words dissected but insisted there should be no misunderstanding among ordinary voters about where his Government really stood.

His opponents, he said, were playing cheap politics.

In parliament, the Opposition did not come  up with fresh ideas but instead the same old ones – the same old lies, the same old fear tactics and even someone raising the spectre of another coup.

He said compare their record to FijiFirst – “We have unified Fiji in a way they were never even interested in doing. While they tried to divide us, we have made us stronger as a nation and we have made our economy stronger and given people confidence and hope.”

The Fiji First party was the only development-focused party in Fiji, particularly in Vanua Levu, Mr Bainimarama said.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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